PACE jury honors automotive innovators

Automotive News reports on PACE award winners for 2010.

Automotive News
6 min read

Automotive News and co-sponsors Ernst & Young and the Transportation Research Center Inc. honored winners of the 2010 Automotive News PACE Awards on April 12.

The winners were judged to be the best at creating innovative products and processes. A group of independent judges chose the winners from 28 finalists.

The awards were handed out at the 16th annual PACE Awards ceremony at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. PACE stands for Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence.

To see videos of the finalists' innovations, go to autonews.com/pacevideo.

Delphi Electronically Scanning Radar
Delphi reduces the cost of automotive radar substantially with its new system. Delphi

Delphi Corp.
Troy, Mich.
For: Electronically Scanning Radar
From the judges' citation: "For the first time, adaptive cruise control, early collision warning and a host of related safety features will be affordable for all vehicle classes. Achieving multimode long- and short-range radar in a single box, Delphi's innovative design represents a significant breakthrough in cost/performance and manufacturability."

Dura Automotive Systems Inc.
Rochester Hills, Mich.
For: Horizontal Sliding Rear Window with Defrost
From the judges' citation: "With a target buyer demographic [for pickups] as much urban as rural, a defrost feature on the rear sliding window has become a necessity. Dura's horizontal sliding rear window with defrost incorporates the defrost capability without compromising design or degrading styling aesthetics."

Federal-Mogul Corp.
Southfield, Mich.
For: DuraBowl Piston Reinforcement Process
From the judges' citation: The "DuraBowl process remelts the highly stressed combustion bowl area to create an aluminum piston with over six times the durability of conventional aluminum pistons. A second dimension of the DuraBowl innovation is the proprietary inline Eddy control testing process that validates the microstructure and integrity of the DuraBowl process in every piston prior to delivery."

Delphi Corp. Powertrain Systems Division
Bascharage, Luxembourg
For: Delphi Direct Acting Piezo Injector
From the judges' citation: "This direct-injection piezo innovation represents a significant step in diesel direct-injection possibilities, offering unique capabilities that reduce particulates or NOx by 30 percent, a game changer that is required for the new generation of low-NOx diesel-engine processes. This key innovation increases power by 8 percent and decreases fuel consumption by 4 percent even as it avoids or minimizes the use of complex and expensive de-NOx after-treatment systems."

Continental AG
Regensburg, Germany, and Auburn Hills, Mich.
NGK Insulators Ltd.
Nagoya, Japan
For: Smart NOx Sensor
From the judges' citation: "The Smart NOx Sensor is the first on-board sensor capable of direct measurement of [nitrogen oxide] in parts-per-million levels. Using the Smart NOx Sensor, vehicle and engine makers can meet EPA 2010 and Euro V emissions requirements while providing customers better fuel economy and eliminating the unpleasant ammonia odors associated with competitive urea-based exhaust treatment strategies."

Federal-Mogul Corp.
Aubange, Belgium, and Southfield, Mich.
For: Bayonet Connection System for Profile Wiper Blades
From the judges' citation: "The Bayonet Connection System...improves both the security of connection and ease of removal; it also improves the grip and rotational angle compared to other existing connector systems."

WABCO diagram
WABCO's transmission control system improves fuel economy. WABCO

For: WABCO OptiDrive
From the judges' citation: "WABCO's configure-to-order OptiDrive system improves vehicle control and safety while enhancing the driver's effectiveness. It also significantly contributes to decreased fuel consumption and reduced maintenance cost for the vehicle's powertrain. OptiDrive's modularity and reliance on advanced electronics enable a rapid low-cost development cycle that allows WABCO to go into markets and product segments that previously could not support automatic manual transmissions' upfront investment costs."

Meridian Lightweight Technologies Inc.
Strathroy, Ontario
For: Single Piece Cast Magnesium Liftgate Inner Panel
From the judges' citation: "The magnesium tailgate inner is the largest die-cast magnesium closure panel globally. It not only saves substantial weight but also functions as the primary structural load-carrying component of the liftgate assembly, meeting stringent crash performance requirements."

ZF Getriebe GmbH
Saarbruecken, Germany
For: ZF 8HP 8 Automatic Transmission
From the judges' citation: "Designed to work with both conventional gas and diesel engines that are available today, ZF's new transmission is also easily adaptable to the new hybrid powertrains of tomorrow. This new innovative transmission represents another significant milestone in fuel consumption, performance and package flexibility over existing technology available today."

Durr Systems Inc.
Plymouth, Mich.
For: EcoDryScrubber
From the judges' citation: "One of the key benefits of the EcoDryScrubber is that because of its extremely efficient filtration capability, up to 95 percent of paint booth process air is recirculated. By recirculating air, energy consumption in the paint spray booth is reduced by 60 percent and in the entire paint shop by 30 percent. The paint spray absorptive agent is inexpensive, powdered limestone, which is recycled after use as a commodity in other industries such as cement making."

TI Group Automotive Systems
Auburn Hills, Mich.
For: Dual Channel Single Stage (DCSS 39-50) Electric Fuel Pump
From the judges' citation: "With its innovative geometry of two sets of turbine blades in parallel on a single impeller, the dual-channel, single-stage pump achieves greatly increased dynamic operating range to accommodate a wide range of conventional and flex-fuel powertrains. Its 20 percent higher efficiency affords lower electrical demand and longer life."

PPG Industries Henke
Troy, Mich.
For: Super High Power Electrocoat
From the judges' citation: PPG's "new paint chemistry for [electrocoat] systems achieves 'super-high throw,' allowing paint to penetrate recesses and coat interior surfaces without excess paint on exterior surfaces. ... In one year, PPG and Toyota have launched super-high-throw electrocoat at 11 plants in North America and Europe."

Henkel Corp.
Madison Heights, Mich.
For: Aquence
From the judges' citation: "This process uses less paint, less energy, less floor space and gives better corrosion resistance than comparable wet-on-wet processes using an e-coat base, and with 70 to 80 percent lower capital cost. ... Auto-deposition with co-cure is believed to be a superior platform from which to achieve the goal of the industry: a three-coat application with one curing oven for all three."

Federal-Mogul Corp.
Southfield, Mich.
For: High Precision Electro-Erosion Machining
From the judges' citation: "Federal-Mogul developed an extension of electrochemical machining that for the first time makes this approach feasible for high-volume automotive production--and at lower production cost, which helps open the design envelope for diesel engines. ...The process is applicable to other ultrahigh-tolerance machining."

Johnson Controls GmbH Automotive Experience
Burscheid, GermanyNordenia Deutschland Gronau GmbH
Gronau, Germany
For: PP Thin Film
From the judges' citation: This process "provides automakers the superior durability, perceived quality and reduced environmental impact of higher-cost filmed coatings at a price equal to or lower than painted plastics. ... The close collaboration between Johnson Controls and Nordenia resulted in a new automated manufacturing process that integrates thin-film technology, deep drawing, back injection molding, laser cutting and the edge-wrapping processes."

Siemens PLM Software
Plano, Texas
For: Teamcenter In-Vehicle Software Management System
From the judges' citation: "The current number of lines of code is about 10 million in a typical vehicle. By 2015, 100 million lines of code will be within connected vehicles. Siemens and Ford have created a software management system permitting them to monitor every vehicle variation on a global basis down to the vehicle identification number. This innovation extends the lifetime control Ford has of its global fleet by leveraging existing software management processes that also maintain security protocols for firewalls between competing suppliers."

Innovation Partnership
Ford Motor Co.
Dearborn, Mich.
Clarion Corp. of America
Farmington Hills, Mich.
For: Next Generation Navigation System
From the judges' citation: "Clarion and Ford reworked the rules of collaboration in that they successfully operated together dealing with other global software and electronics companies such as Microsoft and Sirius. The working relationships established by the joint development teams provide a model for future technologies and in-vehicle software efforts."

Innovation Partnership
Ford Motor Co.
Dearborn, Mich.
Dura Automotive Systems Inc.
Rochester Hills, Mich.
For: Horizontal Sliding Rear Window with Defrost From the judges' citation: "Dura collaborated in the design development and implementation with Ford as well as with the other external suppliers of glass and switches."

Innovation Partnership
Ford Motor Co.
Dearborn, Mich.
Meridian Lightweight Technologies Inc.
Strathroy, Ontario
For: Single Piece Cast Magnesium Liftgate Inner Panel From the judges' citation: Meridian and Ford "have collaborated over the past 10 years to develop and produce what is the largest magnesium structural casting ever for the automotive industry, resulting in weight savings in excess of 20 pounds per vehicle. ... Numerous design, manufacturing and testing innovations were required by the Meridian and Ford engineering teams to produce this part. During the process, Ford made its computing power available to Meridian for simulation runs."

Innovation Partnership
Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.
Valcourt, Quebec
Robert Bosch
Farmington Hills, Mich.
For: Vehicle Stability System for a 3-Wheeled Vehicle
From the judges' citation: "Bosch had to learn to work with a small, fast-paced development organization that had no prior experience with stability and traction control systems while dealing with the dynamics of a lightweight three-wheel design. BRP in turn had to learn about the interrelatedness of systems and to convey the 'sporty' experience users expected of its products. Bosch and BRP collaborated closely throughout the project to develop a system that was tuned to handle aggressive riding, yet provide the margin of safety that would make the Spyder appeal to its target purchasers."

(Source: Automotive News)